Matti Kovler is a Russian born Israeli composer/conductor, and was recently a fellow at Tanglewood. As a choral conductor and educator, his primary focus is the development of ear-training and musicianship through vocal improvisation and choral exercises. He has taught this method in several leading music institutions in Europe and U.S., among them the Jerusalem Music Academy, Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and Hanover University for Music and Drama.
Matti Kovler wrote his first opera at the age of 17. With an original libretto based on Hansel and Gretel, Kovler's Ami and Tammy combined Bernstein influences with neo-classical allusions and parodies of Soviet operettas. Upcoming projects include a clarinet piano duo for Duo Brillaner, and a large-scale vocal work for the Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw Workshop, commissioned by Carnegie Hall.
Kovler's works have been performed in Israel, Europe, and United States. His overture Enosh was premiered in 2002 by the Metropole Orchestra at the Radio Netherlands Hall, Hilversum. In 2005, he was one of 15 aspiring composers selected to participate in the 17th Annual ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in Hollywood. During the workshop he conducted Fox Studio's Symphony Orchestra. He was the first-prize winner of the J. Dorfman Composers Competition 2007. For his Clarinet Quintet, recorded by clarinetist Shirley Brill and the Ariel String Quartet in NEC's Jordan Hall, Kovler received an honorary mention at the ASCAP Morton Gould Awards.
Kovler was the only recipient of the 2008-2009 America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship in Composition for study in the United States. Recent works include The Escape of Jonah, an oratorio for brass orchestra, soloists, choir and electronics, and Shoresh Nishmat, trio for clarinet, cello and piano, performed in Weill Hall, N.Y., on the occasion of Israel’s 60th anniversary. Kovler was a Lola and Edwin Jaffe fellow at Tanglewood in 2008.